Pro-abortion Member of Parliament Stella Creasy has praised council officials who vandalised a pro-life display while local police officers stood by refusing to intervene and halt the destruction of private property.
Waltham Forest Borough Council officials in East London surrounded Christian Hacking, a pro-lifer in a wheel chair, on Thursday morning in Walthamstow Town Centre.
The officials demanded that the pro-lifers remove banners showing a picture of local pro-abortion Member of Parliament (MP) Stella Creasy next to the image of a 24-week aborted foetus.
The pro-life organisation Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK (CBRUK) have been holding #StopStella demonstrations to make constituents aware that their MP is responsible for undemocratically imposing abortion on Northern Ireland and is seeking to overturn the law to allow abortions up to 28 weeks.
On Thursday morning, approximately 10 officials from the Council began pressurising the eight pro-life volunteers to remove their display.
Phil Connor, Antisocial Behaviour Service Delivery Manager, confronted Hacking with a Community Protection Warning accusing the pro-lifers of engaging in “unreasonable behaviour which is persistent” and “having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of others.”
The written warning, issued under the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, defined the unreasonable behaviour as: “Displaying large images of unborn and/or aborted foetuses which have caused or are likely to cause distress and/or alarm to members of the public.”
It stated that the pro-lifers had a deadline of “15 minutes from the time this warning is completed,” or would face severe penalties of £2,500 for an individual and up to £20,000 for an organisation.
Connor also said that there were by-laws that prohibited the pro-lifers from erecting “structures such as this in this space.”
Connor handed a map to Hacking stating that the pro-lifers would not be permitted to return to the area shown on the map “in possession of large images of unborn foetuses and/or aborted foetuses on display.”
The pro-lifers said they were shocked that the map covered the entire borough of Walthamstow.
When the pro-lifers stood by their legal rights and addressed the issue of freedom of speech, a number of officials from the council rushed towards the banners.
Pro-lifers attempted to shield them with their bodies and appealed to the police for help.
However, of the 15 Metropolitan Police officers from Waltham Forest Police, not a single officer came to their aid.
Instead, they stood by and watched as council officials vandalised the banners.
Creasy commended the vandals from the council on Twitter calling them “total heroes” and “officers who calmly in the face of much provocation served the Community Protection notices against CBRUK and so got them out of Walthamstow town square this morning.”
She added: “If only @metpoliceuk would be as responsive!”
“The police said they wouldn’t enforce the Community Protection Warning against us, but did nothing when the council officials tore down our banners,” Hacking told Church Militant.
Today we sought to educate Walthamstow on the reality of the abortion only to be told by the council that our behaviour was ‘unreasonable’ and ‘detrimental’ and that we needed a permit. You tell me what’s unreasonable or detrimental? Educating Walthamstow constituents on the reality of what Stella supports or supporting an MP who calls ‘abortion a human right up to 28 weeks,’ and is quite willing to forcefully shut down anyone who suggests otherwise.
“The police have said they are not going to shut our display down. We want to thank the Metropolitan Police again for following the law,” Ruth Rawlins, spokesperson for CBRUK said on a Facebook livestream, just before council officers ripped down the banners.
“The council members have ripped out banners down. They’ve stolen our banners,” Rawlins told the audience on her livestream, just after the incident. The pro-lifers told Church Militant they had asked for the banners to be returned, but Waltham council had refused to return their property.
Rawlins told Church Militant:
This is reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr. requiring a permit to march in certain US states to expose racism. The council claims we need a permit in order to expose Stella Creasy’s promotion of human rights abuses against children in the womb. We will continue to educate on the issue in Walthamstow.
Witnesses said that the council officials’ behaviour particularly towards Christian Hacking, a disabled pro-life volunteer in a wheel chair, was “intimidating and disgusting” and was a “terrifying demonstration of a totalitarian attitude towards the most vulnerable, including unborn babies.”
“So our tax pays for abortion. £400+ each one but we cannot show what that entails,” Gail Mills responded to the Facebook livestream.
Meanwhile, Stella Creasy who is eight-months pregnant, told Britain’s parliament on Wednesday that the banners were scientifically incorrect and that CBRUK was a charity receiving funding from the USA and needed to be examined by the tax authorities.
“This organisation claims to be a charity in its constitution and its accounts, and in the statement it made to the BBC last October. ” Creasy told MPs, “yet the Charity Commission have refused to register them. Nor is it clear whether they have repaid the gift aid that they’ve previously claimed under the auspices of this charity status.”
She said in the House of Commons:
If not, given that they knew they weren’t registered with the Charity Commission, this group has facilitated tax evasion, which of course is a criminal offence. Nor is it clear that they have complied with the rules for third party campaigners in the run-up to an election, or whether they are accepting illegal foreign donations, given that they are part of a network of such organisations across the world.
Dave Brennan from Brephos, a subsidiary of CBRUK, pointed out to Church Militant: “Would Creasy care to point out in what respect, precisely, our banners are inaccurate, if she has cause to doubt them?”
Although for a time CBRUK was recognised as having charitable status for tax purposes, since the Charity Commission rejected the full application we have never claimed to be a charity. Creasy’s smear of CBRUK is hardly surprising. The question of who our donors are is irrelevant so long as it is legal. The real question is: why is Stella so terrified of people seeing the reality of life in the womb and what abortion actually does to the baby, when this is something she has been campaigning for all along?
Brennan also noted that Creasy referred to the leader of Waltham Council as an “ally.” “Today the council took our banners down—illegally—and stole them from us. It has been proven in court that we are lawfully allowed to display such material in public,” he said.
Stella Creasy has since launched a #HateBullies campaign on Twitter.
In 2010, pro-lifers launched a landmark freedom of expression test case after Andrew Stephenson and Kathryn Attwood were arrested and held in police cells for 15 hours for refusing to take down placards showing graphic images of an aborted foetus in Brighton.
On March 14, 2016, the police were ordered to pay the pro-lifers £40,000 in fines and issue a public apology for their arrest.
Church Militant approached Sergeant Stuart Doyle, officer in charge at the incident in Walthamstow, but received no reply. Waltham Council put out an alert on their website stating that they were “currently experiencing issues with the phone lines” and could not be contacted.
(Originally published in Church Militant. To comment on this piece, click here)